5 Enriching Ways Your Toddler Can Learn Outside the Classroom

During the critical developmental stage from zero to five years old, toddlers are like sponges—eagerly soaking up knowledge from the world around them. As parents, it’s crucial to recognise the immense importance of reinforcing learning beyond the classroom during these formative years. Indeed, the toddler stage is the perfect time to expose your child to a diverse array of learning opportunities and activities that not only enrich their minds, but also aid in their holistic development.

While early childhood educational institutions, like Kinderland in Singapore, are instrumental in introducing formal learning to young children, there’s a need for parents to follow through with informal education at home and everywhere else. With support from parents through enrichment activities outside the classroom, a Kinderland education for preschoolers can continue and result in a well-rounded learning experience. You can learn more about Kinderland preschool learning activities that take place outside the centre through avenues like Kinderland’s YouTube channel.

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Here are some exciting ways to ignite your little one’s curiosity outside the classroom and nurture their love for learning outside the traditional school setting:

1) Museum Visits

Some parents may think that bringing a toddler to a museum is a waste of time, fearing their child will become bored because they’re too young to appreciate the experience. But assumptions like these may prevent parents from introducing their curious toddlers to a particularly enriching place for their learning.

Numerous studies suggest that exposing toddlers to art museums, cultural museums, and interactive museum experiences can be highly beneficial to them. One paper released by the Smithsonian Institute highlights the potential for museums to help children develop aesthetic awareness, among other advantages.

Given that Singapore boasts some of the world’s finest museums, parents in this city-state have an exceptional opportunity to show their toddlers the beauty of art. Taking them to institutions like the National Museum or the ArtScience Museum will allow them to engage with interactive installations, view works from renowned artists, and view artistic practices with frank and childlike wonder.

2) Literary Adventures at Your Local Library

One of the greatest gifts you can give your toddler is a love for reading. Singapore’s numerous libraries are treasure troves of children’s literature, waiting to be explored.

Get your little one their very own library card and go on a literary adventure together. You’ll likely be able to find one that extends beyond the pages of books, too. From story time sessions to themed workshops, libraries will offer a wealth of resources and programs designed to whet young readers’ hunger for learning. Be up-to-date with the latest workshops that your child may be interested in by following the social media page of your local library.

3) Arts and Crafts at Home and Outdoors

Next, inspire your toddler’s creativity with arts and crafts activities that are not only entertaining, but also highly educational. Engaging in arts and crafts either at home or in conducive settings like a public park will allow toddlers to hone their fine motor skills, bolster their confidence, and sharpen their cognitive abilities.

Create a dedicated art corner in your home, providing a space for your little Picasso to unleash their imagination freely. Here, they can engage in the sensory delights of finger painting or the intricate process of collage making. You can also take them to a local park to improvise art projects from found materials, such as rocks, twigs, leaves, and sand.

These hands-on activities will go far in developing your toddler’s fine motor skills, promoting their self-expression, and cultivating a deep appreciation for the arts from an early age.

4) Nature Hikes

Despite its urban landscape, Singapore is blessed with an abundance of green spaces just waiting to be explored. Take your toddler, and the whole family, on a nature hike through the lush trails of MacRitchie Reservoir or Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.

As they marvel at the wonders of the natural world, your toddler can develop a deep appreciation for the environment and gain valuable insights into the delicate balance of ecosystems. There have been numerous studies on the benefits of being near nature; on top of boosting their physical health, nature can play a vital role in strengthening your child’s confidence and imagination.

5) Errands That Double as Learning Opportunities

You can also transform your mundane errands into exciting learning adventures by involving your toddler. Grocery runs or visits to the bank can serve as valuable opportunities to teach your little one about numeracy, budgeting, and healthy eating habits, among others.

At the supermarket, let them help choose fruits and vegetables, count items, and make decisions related to your household’s weekly menu. At the bank, show them the different types of bills and how to count money. This approach can turn even the simplest of errands into foundational learning experiences.

As a parent, you play a crucial role in shaping your toddler’s learning experiences outside what they learn in the classroom. Strive to enrich their minds through creative activities and learning opportunities, such as those mentioned above. Doing so can stoke your little one’s love for learning and create cherished family memories that your child will carry with them as they grow older.

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